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First of all, I've been vegan for a year. I do so because of the animal-rights perspective.

There's only one problem in my logic that's making me feel hypocritical/like I should 'just eat meat'. I feed my cat, dog, rats and snake animal products. I can't switch my snake or cat to a healthy vegan diet (although it may be doable with my dog and rats). How can I ethically justify this (that's the reason I became vegan - I couldn't deal with using animals to the extent our society says it is okay to because I felt I wouldn't be being 'honest' with myself)?? Or do I just have to deal with being a hypocrite?
 

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Say one cow feeds your cat for a year, but if you start eating meat again you may need 2 cows, 3 chickens and 4 pigs...isnt that one cow better upagainst the 9 animals you'd be eating?

Mostly animals dont have a choice to their diets, us humans do.
 

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exactly...I'm in charge of my decisions for what goes into my body. While dogs can be given a plant based diet, it's much more difficult to do so for cats. You couldn't convert a lion or tiger over to one, so why change what's natural for them.

focus on your veganism. Personally, I don't feel it's hypocritical. I feed my dog and cat regular store bought food for them.
 

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When you acquired your pets, you committed to keeping them as healthy as possible, and the cat and the snake require meat. You, however, do not! You have the wonderful option of not eating animal products and living a very healthy and vibrant life! So feed those who require meat what they need, and enjoy the fact that you do not. It's not hypocritical.
 

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That very issue with having to feed my cats meat did make me switch back to being an omni when I tried vegetarianism a few years ago. Now, being completely vegan, my philosophy on that one is thankfully I don't have to be a part of that food chain! With my cats, what I try to do is to buy food that's organic and/or free range, and to make sure they get their vegetables, as even pure carnivores still need them. Buying food that has vegetables mixed in and/or a grass plant does the job nicely. I certainly wouldn't let go of my cats just because of their dietary needs, and fingers crossed that lab-grown meat will be available for them (but not me) to eat soon.
 

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I don't want to buy meat in any form, so I will only get pets in the future that can be vegetarian. Can't do anything about the past, though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by delicioso View Post

I don't want to buy meat in any form, so I will only get pets in the future that can be vegetarian. Can't do anything about the past, though.
I agree with this. I got my cat in 2005...long before thoughts of veg*nism began to surface. I made the commitment to take care of him for the duration of his life. And I plan to do that. But at this point, I will not be getting anymore animals that can't be veg.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrabbit View Post

First of all, I've been vegan for a year. I do so because of the animal-rights perspective.

There's only one problem in my logic that's making me feel hypocritical/like I should 'just eat meat'. I feed my cat, dog, rats and snake animal products. I can't switch my snake or cat to a healthy vegan diet (although it may be doable with my dog and rats). How can I ethically justify this (that's the reason I became vegan - I couldn't deal with using animals to the extent our society says it is okay to because I felt I wouldn't be being 'honest' with myself)?? Or do I just have to deal with being a hypocrite?
I understand this is an emotional struggle. But let me ask this gently, how will eating meat yourself make you feel less like a hypocrite? It seems that eating meat would only make what you are currently struggling with worse.
 

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I also have animals that need meat, including a snake. Just because I have to buy SOME meat, doesn't mean I might as well kill even more animals and eat meat myself. Your animals need meat, but you do not, so no need to add more demand to the supply.

It's hard, morally, to feed animals meat. I completely understand. Try to not beat yourself up about it - which I know is easier said than done. But there's no reason to needlessly kill animals and eat meat yourself because you feel bad about pets that actually need meat! I don't think that will make you feel better in the slightest.

 

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I also forgot to add that my cats and I were closer than ever after I went vegan. Maybe it's because I was no longer participating in a food chain that I have no place in, and they could sense that. Who knows.
 

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Vrabbit,

I can appreciate your feelings on the matter, but let me put it this way. You want to be reasonable and enact a life based on animal rights. That is a noble endeavor no matter how well you do.

Do some animals make a vegan life difficult? Absolutely.

By the same token, would you suffer a relative who was feeding your pets something totally inappropriate( i.e. giving hershey bars to your dog, etc.)? Well, the answer is obviously no. These creatures need care based on what wisdom you have on the matter.

In my mind, you are not a hypocrite. You seem to be continuing in your efforts toward their welfare even if it does make you feel bad,and you don't seem to have swerved from that goal in the slightest. Hold your head up and keep trying to make both yours and their lives better. Trying to do the impossible for them(thereby putting them in danger) will only give you grief.

Best wishes
 

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I adopted my 3 cats long before I went veg. They will be with me and continue to eat meat as long as they live. Whether I choose to adopt cats in the future is an issue with which I will eventually have to grapple. I ask myself, if I walked into a shelter and saw all the unwanted cats, would it be okay to adopt one, trying to give it a chance at a happy life, knowing that I would have to feed meat to the cat for years? I don't have an answer yet, but someday I'll have to come up with one.

And uh, I almost hate to throw this out there, but do snakes and rats actually make happy pets?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrabbit View Post

First of all, I've been vegan for a year. I do so because of the animal-rights perspective.

There's only one problem in my logic that's making me feel hypocritical/like I should 'just eat meat'. I feed my cat, dog, rats and snake animal products. I can't switch my snake or cat to a healthy vegan diet (although it may be doable with my dog and rats). How can I ethically justify this (that's the reason I became vegan - I couldn't deal with using animals to the extent our society says it is okay to because I felt I wouldn't be being 'honest' with myself)?? Or do I just have to deal with being a hypocrite?
Let me simply ask you: are you interested in saving animals' lives, preventing their suffering, and in actively persuing a better future for all animals on this Earth? Or are you interested in living a life that is perfectly consistent with the status-quo and mainstream values?

If the answer to the former question is YES, then the only rational and ethical option is to chose to act in the areas in which you are able to save animals lives, prevent their suffering, and actively persue a better future. In the areas where you are unable to act in ways 100% consistent with your values, the only rational and ethical option is to act in a way that is most consistent with your values.

The notion that what you're doing is inconsistent or hypocritical is a flawed notion based on the wrong assumption that to be vegan means to abstain from consuming any and all animal products. Instead, to be vegan means to abstain from animal products as much as practical and possible, acknowledging that what we eat is the most basic level at which we can "boycott animal cruelty." To take it further than diet is usually important for most vegans, but the fact remains that our food choices matter most.

Over 95% of the animals that die at the hands of humans in the US are those that are killed in order to become food for humans to eat. Moreover, the number of animals who LITERALLY suffer to death as a result of animal agriculture dwarfs the number of animals killed for fur, killed in shelters AND killed in laboratories combined. Your food choices matter MOST.

source: http://www.countinganimals.com/is-ve...ffer-to-death/

But also, what these people said is true:

Quote:
Originally Posted by .Goth-Alice. View Post

Say one cow feeds your cat for a year, but if you start eating meat again you may need 2 cows, 3 chickens and 4 pigs...isnt that one cow better upagainst the 9 animals you'd be eating?

Mostly animals dont have a choice to their diets, us humans do.
Yes.

And it's the same issue vegans have when they encounter situations like these:
- They have a disease and the only medicine available to cure it or improve their lives is medicine that was tested on animals. Should a vegan deny themselves the medicine?
- Someone in their care (child, patient, elderly parent, etc.) needs to consume animal products to survive. For example, babies who are born premature in the US are usually required to be fed cow's milk formula until they get old enough to switch to soy formula. Should a vegan who wants to adopt a child refuse to adopt a premie because (s)he would have to feed the baby cow's milk formula? (hint: does it really help any animals if the vegan does this?)

Sometimes we don't have entirely free choices to abstain from the participation in animal exploitation. That's a sad fact of life. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't take the opportunities to boycott cruelty when we can; we should act compassionately whenever we can, because it's the right thing to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delicioso View Post

I don't want to buy meat in any form, so I will only get pets in the future that can be vegetarian. Can't do anything about the past, though.
You can choose to be a good guardian to the animals you currently care for and then later choose to only care for animals who are naturally herbivorous (like rabbits) or animals who are easily converted to a veg diet (dogs).

Or you can consider all the options and determine that the best way for you to help animals is to offer a home to homeless carnivores and source their food from places that are as humane as possible. Some options: source from small free-range farms or only purchase petfoods made from biproducts so that you're not adding to the consumer demand for animal products. Or you could rescue some hens and feed your animals their eggs. The point is that if you think creatively then you may find a workable solution that eases your conscience a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dancingfire512 View Post

You want to be reasonable and enact a life based on animal rights. That is a noble endeavor no matter how well you do.

[...]

In my mind, you are not a hypocrite. You seem to be continuing in your efforts toward their welfare even if it does make you feel bad,and you don't seem to have swerved from that goal in the slightest. Hold your head up and keep trying to make both yours and their lives better. Trying to do the impossible for them(thereby putting them in danger) will only give you grief.
PS - I feed my dogs vegan or vegetarian dogfood, but I let them have "freegan" meaty treats obtained as samples from dog festivals or given by friends. I feed my cats meat. So... I'm in the same boat as you are. And I can count on one hand the number of times someone has called me a hypocrite for it. Most people understand that being vegan isn't about purity, it's about doing good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thankyou so much for all the support! I read every one of your replies and value them greatly. I now feel less scared of fitting into the 'vegan community' now.

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Originally Posted by greenish View Post

I understand this is an emotional struggle. But let me ask this gently, how will eating meat yourself make you feel less like a hypocrite? It seems that eating meat would only make what you are currently struggling with worse.
I guess I'd feel less of a hypocrite as I'd be being consistent. I don't like to see sentient life treated like a product and mass-farmed in the way it is. I almost feel like I can't honestly stand up for those beliefs when that's what I feed my animals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Zucchini View Post

And uh, I almost hate to throw this out there, but do snakes and rats actually make happy pets?
The rats at least, I believe definitely do.
They have 2 hours out-of-cage time a day, a big cage with LOTS of stimulation and they live with their brothers. They make the effort to come to me and lick me when I take them out, and brux (a rat's version of 'purring') when I stroke them behind the ears.
I'm not quite sure about the snake, as snakes don't show emotion. =S
 

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It's threads like these that make VB especially worthwhile. Good people here, no doubt.

vrabbit - all the best to you. I can't say anything that several others haven't already said much better.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrabbit View Post

The rats at least, I believe definitely do.
They have 2 hours out-of-cage time a day, a big cage with LOTS of stimulation and they live with their brothers. They make the effort to come to me and lick me when I take them out, and brux (a rat's version of 'purring') when I stroke them behind the ears.
I'm not quite sure about the snake, as snakes don't show emotion. =S
Ah I've never had a snake pet. I mentioned rats because we had one many years ago. We actually found it running around the parking lot outside our apartment and 'rescued' it. We kept it in a not-so-big cage, and I often wondered if he would have been better off if we'd just left him alone instead of adapting him. Though it sounds like your rats must be happy to have companionship, and 2 hours of party time a day
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrabbit View Post

There's only one problem in my logic that's making me feel hypocritical/like I should 'just eat meat'. I feed my cat, dog, rats and snake animal products. I can't switch my snake or cat to a healthy vegan diet (although it may be doable with my dog and rats). How can I ethically justify this (that's the reason I became vegan - I couldn't deal with using animals to the extent our society says it is okay to because I felt I wouldn't be being 'honest' with myself)?? Or do I just have to deal with being a hypocrite?
In my opinion you can't really ethically justify it (although vegans frequently try), particularly with animals like snakes, whom IMO should not be domesticated. But what you can do for the time being is learn to accept the situation that you have created, and if you want to avoid this dilemma in the future, think about not getting any more animals that need to be fed meat that is produced in a manner that you object to eating yourself.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrabbit View Post

Or do I just have to deal with being a hypocrite?
'Lo Vrabbit


I dont think it is hypocritical to honour your obligations to your obligate carnivores untill their natural lives run out.

Fair to say that it would be hypocritical to replace them though?
 

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One look at your dog/cat's teeth in comparison to your own will tell you very quickly what type of food your pet is intended by nature to eat...and that is meat.

We have more herbivorous teeth...dogs and cats definitely do not.
 

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I struggled with this myself and actually got quite a hard time from vegans a few years ago. That is actually what made me deviate from a vegan diet was from how I was made to feel because I was vegan but I was feeding my animals meat.

I keep many carnivorous pets and while I want to live a vegan lifestyle (trying to get back into it since I've decided I'm going to live the way I want to and no one, vegan or otherwise, is going to make me feel bad about what kind of animals I share my life with) I have to feed them what nature intended them to eat. I have had rats before and they can be fed a vegan diet. You just have to watch their diet. I found something that may be useful to you. http://veganza.com/2007/12/03/rat-diet/

As far as dog being on a vegan diet. It can be done but is not recommended. Dogs are not vegetarians naturally. They thrive on a diet high in meat/organ/bone with supplimental plant matter (never grains) to simulate the stomach contents of their prey items they would eat in the wild. If you do wish to switch your dog to a vegetarian or vegan diet, please consult with a veterinarian before doing so but I don't recommend it.

Cats should never be fed a vegan or vegetarian diet. Cats are obligate carnivores and the bulk (if not all) of their diet should be meat/organ/bone. Cats are not designed to eat or digest any kind of plant matter. Their digestive systems are short. A short digestive tract is meant for digesting meat, not plant matter. Plant matter takes longer to digest in a carnvore's system because they lack the ability to break it down. The enzymes and acid in a carnivore's digestive system is meant to break down meat, not plants. The best diet for a cat is a raw meat/organ/bone diet. Short of that, a grain free cat kibble.

And of course snakes are definitely obligate carnivores. This is where I didn't make many new friends when I was a new vegan. I breed snakes as a hobby and during my first transition into veganism I got a lot of "bad vibes" from people when I mentioned I kept snakes. Snakes in my opinion make great pets and while they do not show emotion as we humans do they can be great companion animals. I have kept snakes for almost 5 years now and I do not intend to ever stop keeping snakes (Given that my oldest snake is only 6 years old and will probably live another 20 years or more)

PM me if you ever want to talk. I have been where you are, feeling like a hypocrite. Not being part of the "in-crowd" of veganism because you keep a snake and cat instead of a bunny. Do what is best for your animals and then do what is best for you. Keep them and yourself healthy by providing the best possible diets for all of you.
 
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